Also on: PC, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher: Wired Productions
Developer: KeokeN Interactive
It doesn?t take long for the big flaw in Deliver Us The Moon to make itself known. Just a few minutes into the game, you?re walking through a door, going from one room to the next — nothing too momentous. Then, mid-stride, everything freezes. And stays that way for about five seconds.
If this just happened once, it would be an odd glitch, easily forgotten about. Unfortunately, however, it happens every time the game saves. Multiply that one moment of freezing to every couple of minutes over the course of the 5-6 hour game, and you can see how it would very quickly go from odd to annoying. It disrupts the flow of the game, and takes you out of the story.
This is especially bad for a game like Deliver Us The Moon that?s all about its story, and all about immersing players in its tense, desolate world. It?s a walking simulator where you?re on a mission to (as the title implies) the Moon, and it?s on your shoulders to save humanity. For the most part, you?re floating or bouncing or wandering through an abandoned space station or a seemingly empty lunar colony, trying to find resources and figure out what happened to the previous inhabitants. You?re driven by the sense of urgency that comes with needing to save the planet.
Or, at least, you would be driven by a sense of urgency if you weren?t constantly being pulled out of the game by the freezing.
It?s especially a shame in this case, since we?d be talking about a pretty solid game otherwise. The story is told in fragments, via all kinds of clues that have been left behind. It?s not a new approach, of course, but it works when it?s done well, and it?s definitely done well here.
On top of that, the puzzles here add to the game in a way that feels organic. There?s always the risk in games like these that the puzzles will feel forced, or out of place. That?s not the case here. Just as the story is always (in theory) pushing you on to the next task that you need to do to stay alive, the puzzles always always feel like they?re a natural part of that urgency, as you carry out tasks that, presumably, are necessary to getting a space station or a lunar colony up and running.
Again, though, it?s hard to maintain a real sense of urgency when technical glitches conspire to diminish that urgency. With slightly better performance, Deliver Us The Moon could have been one of the best games of the year. As it stands, it?ll have to settle for being merely intriguing.
Wired Productions provided us with a Deliver Us The Moon PS4 code for review purposes.